Rep. Titus Announces $1.9 Million to Reduce Sexual Assault Kit Backlog

Oct 6, 2016
Press Release

October 6, 2016

Washington, D.C.—Today Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District announced that the Department of Justice has awarded the Nevada Attorney General’s Office a $1,962,414 grant to continue the state’s participation in the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI).

The state will use the funds to enhance and expand its current effort to reduce the sexual assault kit backlog in Nevada. The grant will increase resources for investigators and prosecutors, provide a statewide assessment of current policies to prevent future backlogs, and create new training programs for law enforcement. The funds will be used to hire a Sexual Assault Resource Prosecutor, a victim advocate, and other personnel.

“This effort shows sexual assault victims that law enforcement is working to bring them justice,” Rep. Titus said. “I applaud the DOJ for continuing to provide the state these much needed resources for addressing the current backlog and building a better community response system for the future. Justice for victims cannot wait while kits remain on a shelf.”

BACKGROUND:

In 2015, the state received a similar award from the DOJ to inventory and test backlogged kits and fund supportive victim services and investigative functions within the jurisdiction of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Crime Lab in Southern Nevada. Nevada will use this award to expand its SAKI program to effectively resolve the statewide issue of untested sexual assault kits. The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) was established by the Obama Administration in the President’s 2015 Budget Request. That year, Congress funded the grant program at $41 million. The SAKI is funded with appropriations for programs at the Department of Justice under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was modernized and reauthorized by Rep. Titus and her colleagues in 2013 by a vote of 286-138.